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Exhibition tells story of Indian soldiers

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Pinning a flower on the saviours of France, Paris 1916. Photo Credit: Toor Collection'

A new travelling exhibition will tell the story of the vital role played by Indian soldiers in the First World War.

Empire, Faith and War explains the contribution made by the relatively small community of Sikh soldiers to a global-scale war.

Pinning a flower on the saviours of France, Paris 1916. Photo Credit: Toor Collection'
Pinning a flower on the saviours of France, Paris 1916.       Photo Credit: Toor Collection

The exhibition, presented by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) tells the forgotten story of India’s huge contribution to the war effort in terms of men, money and materials.

It shows how Indian troops, including Sikhs, arrived 100 years ago to fight on the Western Front, as well as their subsequent involvement in the Great War’s lesser-known fronts.

The display runs until April 12, alongside the ‘Leicester at War 1914 – 1915’ exhibition at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

In addition to the exhibition, a talk will take place telling the stirring history of the Indian Army Corps on the Western Front till December 1915, as told through the eyes of the 34 Royal Sikh Pioneers.

The talk also sets the scene for the Indian Army’s wider contribution to campaigns such as Gallipoli, the Middle East and Africa.

It takes place on Sunday, March 8, at 2pm, in New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, heritage, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “Soldiers from many nations fought alongside Britain in the First World War, but the role of Indian soldiers is not always well documented.

“This is a fascinating and moving exhibition, telling the story of the men involved and the experiences they faced fighting as part of the British Empire during the Great War.”

(For more information visit:  www.empirefaithwar.com)

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